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Archive for February, 2010

Two former UT players invited to NFL Scouting Combine

Church

Church

Former Rockets Barry Church and Stephen Williams have been invited to the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Feb. 24 through March 2.

The combine is an important evaluation tool used by NFL teams to determine which college players they will select in the annual draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The draft will take place April 22 through 24.

Church, a 6-2, 219-pound safety from Pittsburgh, will participate in sessions from Feb. 27 through March 2. Williams, a 6-5, 199-pound wide receiver from Houston, will participate from Feb. 25 through 28. The first three days of each session include physicals, interviews, psychological testing and measurements. The fourth and final day consists of workouts in front of coaches, scouts and executives from all 32 NFL teams.

Williams

Williams

Church, a four-time first-team All-MAC honoree, tallied 98 tackles in his senior season. He also led the team with three blocked kicks and 8.5 tackles for loss. He started all 48 games in his collegiate career, finishing with 352 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, nine interceptions and six forced fumbles. He was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s best defensive back) and was on the official watch list for the Bronco Nagurski Award (nation’s best defensive player). He also participated in the East-West Shrine Game Jan. 23.

Williams made first-team All-MAC in 2009, his third time as an All-MAC selection but first time on the first-team. He had 79 receptions for 1,065 yards. He finished his career as Toledo’s career leader in receptions with 229 and receiving yards with 3,102.

Strategic plan recalibration under way; wide input sought in revision of 2007 document

A group of almost 90 faculty, staff, students, community members and University administrators have started work on recalibrating the 2007 “Directions” strategic plan document.

Dr. Jamie Barlowe, professor and chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and co-convener of the newly formed strategic plan committee, said looking at the University’s strategic plan again needs to happen now because so much has changed since the 2007 document.

“We are no longer going through a merger, our country has a new president, our state has a new governor, and we have a set of global economic conditions we couldn’t have anticipated,” Barlowe said. “There is a large set of internal and external circumstances that impact the way this institution operates, and we need to be constantly aware of how those things define our strategic direction.”

Chuck Lehnert, vice president for facilities and construction and co-convener of the committee, said the recalibration will look at updating and changing the 2007 plan to better position the University to be a leader in the excellence of its academic programs, the depth of its research, the availability of its world-class health care, and the reach of its global engagement — among other areas.

To meet these needs, the 90-person committee has divided into nine work groups — six focused on creating goals and measurements for obtaining those goals, and three looking at broader issues of distinctiveness, a University land-use plan and finances. Each goal-oriented group will decide which goals from “Directions” they will keep, revise or delete, and which goals they will newly create.

The work groups will look at setting goals in the following areas before the next meeting of the full committee at 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 22, in the Dana Conference Center:

Undergraduate Academic Programs;

Graduate and Professional Academic Programs;

Research and Technology Transfer;

Student Centeredness and Campus Directions;

Health-Care Access and Delivery;

Community Outreach and Global Engagement;

Land Use;

Distinctiveness; and

Finances.

A big change from the 2007 document, Lehnert said, will be including measurements and implementation procedures for the prescribed goals.

“We didn’t have that before,” he said. “There was nothing in ‘Directions’ that said, ‘Here’s how we’re going to measure this.’ But it’s an important aspect to include because we need to be able to see how we’re doing two or three years down the road.”

Barlowe and Lehnert said participation from every member of the University community will be essential to the success of the revised strategic plan, and several avenues have been established to help constituents easily get their voice heard and thoughts added to the process.

Marcie Ferguson, administrative assistant for strategic planning, has revamped the strategic planning Web site (Utoledo.edu/strategicplan) to hold comprehensive strategic planning information. Videos, minutes, schedules, presentations and more from every meeting are available to view, and feedback on those items is accepted and encouraged. A UT strategic plan Facebook page and Twitter profile looks to engage the University community in weekly discussions about topics important to the shape of the document.

Interested parties also can join the committee and the work groups to be more intimately involved in the process, Barlowe said, adding that after a draft of the revised plan is compiled at the end of April, input will be sought far and wide.

“We are absolutely determined that every University stakeholder be included in this process,” she said. “We need students, we need faculty, we need community members and administrators — part of what shapes a great strategic plan is input from a vast group of diverse people.”

Lehnert said getting large numbers of individuals to influence a grand plan that will position the University as a regional, national and global leader is no small task, but a necessary and accomplishable one.

“These issues are broad and our goals are big, but we can’t afford to be overwhelmed,” he said. “If you’re hungry and you have an apple, you don’t look at it and say, ‘Well, my mouth isn’t that big, there’s no way I can swallow that whole thing.’ You take bites. If you don’t start by taking bites, you’re going to starve to death.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the full committee meeting Monday, Feb. 22, at 8 a.m. in the Dana Conference Center, or visit utoledo.edu/strategicplan to learn more about getting involved.

UT law forum to examine where, how U.S. should try terrorists

The University of Toledo College of Law and its Law Review will host a daylong symposium exploring the question of where and how to try accused terrorists Friday, Feb. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Law Center Auditorium.

The issue has been prominent in public debate since the Obama administration announced that alleged Sept. 11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, would be tried in a New York federal court.

Federal judges from Florida to Michigan, attorneys from the Department of Justice and the United States Navy, criminal defense attorneys, legal academics, and the former interim general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency will discuss “The Military Commissions Act of 2009: Back to the Future or the Fix for a Flawed System?”

“This symposium could not be more timely or more important,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Law. “With some detainees scheduled to be tried in civilian courts, others due to be judged before newly modified military commissions, and recently announced threats of more attacks, it is imperative that we arrive at the best possible approach to determining the guilt or innocence of those accused of plotting attacks on this country and its citizens.”

Speakers will address the legal and practical consequences of recent revisions to the Military Commissions Act, and what they mean in light of the recent decision and public backlash to try several high-profile terror suspects in federal courts and others by military commission.

“These are some of the best legal minds in the country, many of whom have years of in-depth experience with the issues of terrorism and the American criminal justice system,” Steinbock said. “The path ultimately taken by national leaders is likely to be one highlighted during our discussions.”

The Toledo Law Review is sponsoring the free, public event.

Documentary to show physical, emotional costs of Iraq War

Marine Staff Sgt. John Jones is one of the soldiers interviewed in the documentary.

Marine Staff Sgt. John Jones is one of the soldiers interviewed in the documentary.

More than 30,000 soldiers have been injured while fighting in Iraq. While 90 percent of the wounded survive their injuries, a greater percentage of men and women return with amputations, brain injuries and severe post-traumatic stress.

“Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq” is a documentary that explores the physical and emotional costs of war as soldiers talk about their “alive day,” the day they escaped death in Iraq.

The film will be shown Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Field House Auditorium. The free, public screening is sponsored by the UT Disability Studies Program.

“With this documentary, we see proof that war is one of humankind’s most effective ways of creating disability,” said Dr. Jim Ferris, Ability Center of Greater Toledo Endowed Chair in Disability Studies, director of the UT Disability Studies Program and associate professor of communication. “But those who are familiar with the history of the disability rights movement in the U.S. also know that veterans of the armed forces have played vital roles in gaining important advances for people with disabilities in America.”

He will lead a discussion following the screening of the 57-minute movie that is not rated and contains graphic battle footage.

Actor James Gandolfini interviews 10 Iraq war veterans who discuss their disabilities, feelings toward America, and thoughts on the future.

“This documentary encourages us to think about the high price servicemen and women are paying right now,” Ferris said.

For more information about this free, public event, contact Ferris at 419.530.7245 or e-mail jim.ferris@utoledo.edu.

Detroit Red Wings join UT to urge college preparation at early age

The Detroit Red Wings and The University of Toledo are partnering to help motivate young students to prepare for a college education by spreading the word about UT’s new Scholarly Savings Account Program, which is available to all students across the country.

The partnership will be announced at a press conference Friday, Feb. 12, at Joe Louis Arena in the Olympia Club. Leaders and guidance counselors from high schools across Michigan have been invited to attend and learn more about the program and how their students can participate. Watch the event live at 1:30 p.m. at Video.Utoledo.edu.

The Scholarly Savings Account Program is an innovative new effort that, beginning in 2010, UT will make as many as five annual deposits of $2,000 into individual student scholarship accounts with the successful completion of the eighth grade and for completion of each year of high school if they meet pre-established academic, attendance and behavioral goals.

“A love of Red Wings hockey is instilled in fans at a young age and children grow up with that passion. We’re trying to develop that same passion in education for students early in their lives so students and their parents know college is a realistic goal academically and financially,” said Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs.

“Higher education continues to be one of the most important ways for our children to personally develop and succeed in life,” said Ken Holland, Red Wings executive vice president and general manager. “This program from The University of Toledo is an excellent way to motivate high school students and ease the financial demands of college. We’re very happy to help promote this scholarship plan.”

For students to be eligible, they must graduate with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and meet core curriculum criteria for regular admission to UT. At the same time, their school districts must sign a participation agreement with UT that includes the development of their own requirements and an annual tracking process.

Upon graduation from high school, a student may have accumulated a maximum of $10,000 through the Scholarly Savings Program that can be used toward tuition at UT. The scholarship funds then will be disbursed in annual increments of $2,500 for four years of attendance at the University.

“I believe this provides a road map for students,” said Burns, who also serves as interim vice president for equity and diversity. “It’s a powerful message to be able to say, ‘Here is money on the table; if you work hard in school, it’s yours.’”

Besides providing scholarship dollars, the Scholarly Savings Account Program aims to give school districts leverage to require students to do things such as take the necessary college prep courses, participate in activities and meet attendance requirements.

UT officials believe that this will result in improved high school graduation rates and better prepare students for the rigor of a college education.

School districts with questions or that are interested in joining the Scholarly Savings Account Program are encouraged to contact Kevin Kucera, UT associate vice president for enrollment services, at 419.530.5742.

UT student-athlete named national swimmer of the week

Sophomore Laura Lindsay has guided the Rockets to an 11-2 record this year with her outstanding efforts in the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

Sophomore Laura Lindsay has guided the Rockets to an 11-2 record this year with her outstanding efforts in the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

After recording two NCAA “B” qualifying times in Toledo’s 159-135 win over Buffalo Feb. 6, sophomore Laura Lindsay earned the Counsilman Hunsaker National Collegiate Swimmer-of-the-Week Honors.

Lindsay had two individual wins in the dual meet victory, taking first in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.36, NCAA “B” time) and the 200 breaststroke (2:16.13, NCAA “B” time). She also swam on the winning 200 medley relay (1:43.22). Both of the breaststroke times were season-bests for her, while the medley-relay team recorded its second-best effort of the year.

Her efforts last Saturday capped off a dominant regular season in which the sophomore from Uniontown, Ohio, won 19 times in 21 tries in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. She also swam on eight first-place medley relay teams this season.

Lindsay

Lindsay

Lindsay helped lead the Rockets to a No. 39 ranking in the national polls, an 11-2 dual meet record, and a perfect 7-0 mark against MAC foes.

“This is really exciting and it blows me away,” Lindsay said. “But honestly, I don’t swim for awards, I swim for my team. I’m just trying to get better and focus on a good taper. I think I’m swimming well technically, and I just want to finish out the year strong.”

“This is a great honor for Laura and indicative of her hard work,” Head Swim Coach Lars Jorgensen said. “She has a bright future ahead of her. She’ll have tough competition ahead of her at the MAC meet, but hopefully she’ll be able to move on to the NCAA Championships.”

The Rockets are off until the MAC Championships, which will take place Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 24-27, in Oxford, Ohio, on the campus of Miami University.